Today is Saturday; 16th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 22nd of the Islamic month of Rajab 1442 lunar hijri; and March 6, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1389 solar years ago, on this day in 632 AD, which was 9th of Zi’l-Hijjah in the year 10 AH, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), during his Farewell Hajj Pilgrimage (Hajjat-al-Weda) delivered a historic sermon on the plain of Arafat from Jabal ar-Rahma (Mount Mercy), exhorting Muslims to adhere to the principles of Islam he had expounded to them in the course of his 23-year universal mission, and to hold fast to the holy Qur’an and his progeny the Ahl al-Bayt. In his sermon which over a hundred thousand pilgrims listened, he directed his speech to all humanity for all time, as is evident by his use of the terms "O People” and "O Mankind”, rather than "O Muslims” or "O Believers”. His intention was to address all people, regardless of their creed, colour of skin, class distinction, ethnicity, languages spoken, eras, and geographical locations around the world (until the Day of Judgement). This sermon, recorded in all reliable books of hadith and history by all denominations of Islam, consists of a series of general exhortations to be followed after him, especially his emphasis on the "Hadith Thaqalayn”. He said in clear words:
"O People! I have been summoned (to God’s presence from the mortal world) and am leaving behind among you the Thaqalayn (Two Weighty Things); the Book of Allah (holy Qur’an) and my progeny the Ahl al-Bayt. Hold fast to them and you will never go astray, for you will be questioned regarding your attitude to them, since the two never part with each other even when they return to me at the Fountain (of Kowsar on the Day of Judgement).”
1382 lunar years ago, on this day in 60 AH, the Omayyad tyrant, Mu’awiyah, died in Damascus at the age of 80, nineteen years after usurping the caliphate from the Prophet of Islam’s elder grandson, Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS), whom he martyred through poisoning in 50 AH in violation of the terms of the treaty signed in 41 AH. Of doubtful paternity and born to the lecherous Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, he grew up to become a staunch opponent of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) – having been brought up by two of the most spiteful enemies of Islam. In 8 AH when Mecca surrendered to the Muslims, two-and-a-half-years before the passing away of the Prophet, he reluctantly paid lip service to Islam to escape execution. During the caliphate of Omar ibn Khattab, he was surprisingly appointed as governor of the newly conquered vast province of Shaam (made up of today’s Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and the illegal Zionist entity Israel), a position he held for almost 20 years despite his dismissal by the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) against whom he came out into open armed rebellion at the War of Siffeen. During the almost 40 years he had entrenched himself in the mostly Christian Levant (Shaam), Mu’awiyah did not spare any effort to distort the teachings of Islam, oppress, torture, and kill Muslims, and indulge in all cardinal sins. On his deathbed, contrary to the terms of the treaty with Imam Hasan (AS), he named as caliph his libertine and openly infidel son, Yazid – born of an adulterous affair with a Christian Bedouin woman – a criminal decision that led to three of the most heinous crimes in history. The Godless Yazid, in the first year of his reign brutally martyred at Karbala the Prophet’s younger grandson, Imam Husain (AS). In the subsequent two years of his evil rule, he desecrated the sanctity of the Prophet’s shrine and mosque in Medina by ordering a general massacre, rape and plunder of Muslims; and next ordered the sacrilegious storming of the holy Ka’ba in Mecca, during the midst of which he died, thereby ending the rule of the house of Mu’awiyah – while another branch of the Omayyads, the Marwanids, continued the evil work of terrorizing the Muslim ummah for some 70 more years before they were thrown into the dustbin of history.
1060 solar years ago, on this day in 961 AD, Byzantine Greek forces occupied the Muslim island of Crete in the Aegean Sea, thus ending the nearly 135-year rule of the Islamic emirate founded by Spanish Muslim migrants under Abu Hafs after their eviction in 827 from the Egyptian port city of Alexandria by the Abbasid Iranian general, Abdullah ibn Taher Khorasani, who equipped them with ships and supplies for the expedition to Iqritish – as the island was called in Arabic. The Greek invaders led by Nikephoros Phokas pillaged the cities, destroying mosques, libraries, baths, bazaars, and irrigation canals. The capital Rabz al-Khandaq, where currently the city of Heraklion stands, was totally destroyed. Cretan Muslims were either killed or carried off into slavery, while the emir, Abdul-Aziz ibn Shu’ayb, and his son Nu’man were taken captive to Constantinople and forced to become Christians. The survival of numerous gold, silver and copper coins, of almost constant weight and composition, testifies to a strong economy and a high living standard among the population of the Emirate of Crete, which had extensive trade ties with the rest of the Muslim world. The Muslims developed a flourishing agriculture, introducing a variety of crops including sugarcane. It was in 654 that Islam made its first advent in Crete, the 5th largest island of the Mediterranean, where Muslims have seen fluctuating fortunes for the past millennium. The last period of Muslim rule – 252 years – ended in 1898 when West European powers seized Crete from the Ottoman Empire and merged it with Greece. The more than 60-percent Cretan Muslims, many of whom followers of the Bektashi Sufi order founded in the 13th century in Khorasan by Iranian mystic of the school of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt, Haji Bektash Vali of Neishapour, were expelled and the island was Christianized. The Cretan Muslim Diaspora today lives in Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. It is worth noting that the Hussainid Dynasty (1705-1957) of Tunisia was Cretan Muslim and originally governors of the Ottoman Empire.
963 lunar years ago, on this day in 479AH, Spanish Muslims led by Yusuf bin Tashfin defeated Spanish Christians under command of Alphonse VI in the glorious battle of "az-Zalaqa”. This decisive battle halted for over two-and-a-half centuries the bid by the Christian powers to drive out Spanish Muslim from the Iberian Peninsula.
752 lunar years ago, on this day in 690 AH, Muslims liberated from Crusader occupiers the city of Beirut – the capital of what is now Lebanon. The campaign was led by the Mamluk sultan of Egypt and Syria, al-Ashraf Khalil Qalawun, a Qipchaq Turk, who went on to liberate the other cities, thus completely ending the 200-year Crusader presence in the Levant.
546 solar years ago, on this day in 1475 AD, Italian painter, sculptor, architect, and poet, Michelangelo, was born in Caprese near Arezzo, Tuscany. He created several works of art. The huge statues which he named Moses and David (not to be confused with the Prophets as he wrongly claimed), and the painting of the so-called Last Judgment are considered as his most important works.
469 solar years ago, on this day in 1552 AD, the second major battle between the Christian sects of Catholics and Protestants in Europe ended with another failure for the latter, following their defeat six years earlier. In this battle which took place in Austria, the Spanish, Prussian, and Austrian Emperors, led the Catholics against the French-backed troops of the princes of the Protestant cities of Prussia and Austria. The motives behind these battles were sectarian disputes that flared up when Martin Luther broke away from the Catholic Church in protest.
262 solar years ago, on this day in1759 AD, the British, led by Colonel Francis Forde, laid siege to Machli-Bandar, and a month later captured this port city on the Bay of Bengal coast of the Deccan through treachery, before the forces of Nizam ul-Mulk Salabat Jang could arrive from Aurangabad and Haiderabad. This was part of the struggle for supremacy by the British against the French allies of the Asef Jahi Dynasty during the 7-year-war. Colonel Forde was later drowned in the Mozambique Channel off the coast of Africa. Machli-Bandar (literally "Fishing-Port”), which the British briefly returned to the Nizam, is also called Masulipatam. It was the fiefdom of the Iranian family of Najm-e Sani, who were appointed governors – first by the Mughal Emperors and later by the Asaf Jahi Persianate Dynasty. It was a thriving port and conduit to Iran, of the Qutb-Shahi dynasty of Iranian origin of Golkandah, before falling to the Mughals and subsequently becoming part of the Asaf Jahi Dynasty of Haiderabad, which finally lost it, along with the rest of the Northern Sarcars (present day Andhra) to the British colonialists in 1823.
242 solar years ago, on this day in 1779 AD, Karim Khan Zand, the founder of the Zand Dynasty of Iran, passed away in his capital Shiraz at the age of 74 after a reign of 29 years, during which he restored stability to the country in the chaotic aftermath of Nader Shah Afshar’s assassination in 1747, ruling almost all of Iran, along with Basra and parts of the Caucasus, except for Greater Khorasan. To legitimize his rule, he placed the Safavid prince, Ismail III, as a figurehead, and never took the title of Shah, contenting himself with the honourary epithet "Wakil ar-Re’aya” (People’s Representative). As a general of Nader Shah, he had taken active parts in most of the military campaigns, and on assuming rule of the country, he devoted himself to the rebuilding of the economy and administration based on social justice. To this day, Karim Khan Zand has a reputation as one of the just and able rulers in Iranian history. On his death, civil war broke out once more, his sons died in mysterious circumstances, and none of his successors were able to rule the country as effectively as he had. The last of his heirs, Lotf Ali Khan Zand, was treacherously killed by Agha Mohammad Khan, who founded the Qajar dynasty in 1794.
214 lunar years ago, on this day in 1228 AH, the prominent jurisprudent, Shaikh Ja’far bin Khizr al-Ḥilli an-Najafi, popular as Kashef al-Gheta, an epithet by which his progeny of scholars became well-known, passed away at the age of 73. A student of the famous scholars, Allamah Seyyed Mohammad Mahdi Bahr al-Uloum, and Allamah Waheed Behbahani, he campaigned against Akhbaris, writing books and essays to reject their views. He succeeded Bahr al-Uloum as Head of the Najaf Seminary. During the Wahhabi attack on holy Najaf, Kashef al-Gheta defended the city, and was the first Shi’a Muslim scholar who wrote against the heretical Wahhabi cult. He wrote several books and groomed many scholars, including the famous jurisprudent, Shaikh Mohammad Hasan Najafi, the author of "Jawaher al-Kalaam”.
196 lunar years ago, on this day in 1246 AH, the prominent Iranian Islamic scholar Mullah Ali bin Jamshid, known as Akhound Noori, passed away in Isfahan. Born in a village near the town of Noor in Mazandaran, after initial studies in his hometown and later Qazvin, he travelled to Isfahan, where he studied under leading scholars, such as Aqa Mohammad Beedabadi and Mirza Abu’l-Qasim Modarres. He became an expert in Islamic philosophy, and the dean of the seminary of Isfahan, where he groomed almost a thousand students, politely declining in the process an invitation by King Fath-Ali Shah Qajar to come and teach in Tehran at the newly established Marvi seminary. Among his prominent students were Mullah Abdullah Zanouri and Haji Mullah Hadi Sabzevari. Of his numerous works in both Persian and Arabic, mention could be made of "Hojjat al-Islam” (Argumentation of Islam), which is a refutation of the British orientalist and Anglican priest Henry Martyn’s book casting doubts on the faith of Muslims. Another of Mullah Ali Noori’s famous works is "Hawashiy-e Asfaar” on the famous Safavid-era philosopher, Mullah Sadra’s work "al-Asfaar al-Arba”.
121 solar years ago, on this day in 1900 AD, German inventor, Gottlieb Daimler, died at the age of 64. His profession was making guns. His industrial activities led to invention of the motorcycle. He set up the auto industry and built a type of bus.
68 solar years ago, on this day in 1951 AD, British agent, Ali Razmara, whom the British-installed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi had appointed prime minister for his anti-Islamic views, was executed in a revolutionary manner by Khalil Tahmasebi, a carpenter by profession and member of the Fedaeen-e Islam organization. Tahmasebi was arrested by the regime and sentenced to death, but the parliament, during the premiership of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq, quashed the verdict and ordered his release as a "soldier of Islam”. Following the overthrow of Prime Minister Mosaddeq in 1953 through a British-US coup, Tahmasebi was re-arrested, tried by a kangaroo court and sentenced to death. He attained martyrdom in 1955 on execution by a firing squad.
64 solar years ago, on this day in 1957 AD, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence. At a time when Islam was fast spreading in West Africa, Ghana was occupied by the Portuguese, who named it the Gold Coast, plundered its rich resources, and imposed Christianity on its people. The British next seized it and carried on the plunder. In the mid-20th century, freedom movements emerged, resulting in uprisings against colonial rule and forcing the British to hold in 1952 the first legislative elections in which Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was elected prime minister. In 1957, he declared the independence of Ghana which three years later adopted a republican system of government. In 1966, Nkrumah was overthrown in a coup master-minded by the US, Britain and France, while he was on a state visit abroad. Thereafter, the country has seen several coups. Ghana covers an area of more than 238,000 sq km. It has a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and shares borders with Togo, Burkina Faso, and Ivory Coast. Of its fast growing 20-percent plus Muslim population, many are followers of the School of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt.
57 solar years ago, on this day in 1964 AD, Afro-American boxing champion, Cassius Clay, embraced Islam, and officially changed his name to Muhammad Ali. His spectacular winning of numerous world titles and his refusal, as a Muslim, to be drafted by the US regime in the Vietnam War made constant headlines.
46 solar years ago, on this day in 1975 AD, the Algiers Accord was inked in the Algerian capital for resolution of the Iran-Iraq border dispute regarding the Shatt al-Arab/Arvand Roud waterway. It ended the Shah’s support for Iraqi Kurds, while Baghdad agreed to fix the southern border of the two countries in the middle of the waterway. In Algiers, the signatory was vice president of the Ba’th minority regime, Saddam, who five years later in September 1980 tore the accord in front of TV cameras to launch his invasion of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Saddam’s US-backed 8-year war ended in 1988 without any victory for him, and two years later in 1990, he had to eat the humble pie and officially admit the validity of the Algiers Accord.
14 solar years ago, on this day in 2007 AD, Saudi-backed Takfiri terrorists blew up through remote control two unsuspecting persons to whom they had given bag full explosives in the midst of pilgrims converging on a shrine in Hillah, southern Iraq, resulting in the martyrdom of some 150 Shi’a Muslim men, women, and children, and wounding of over 200 others.
9 solar years ago, on this day in 2010, Iran announced that it has started a new production line of highly accurate, short range cruise missiles, which adds a new element to the country’s already imposing defence arsenal.